Michigan Association of School Administrators

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Member Blogs

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David Britton, Godfrey-Lee
Rich Franklin, Athens
Scot Graden, Saline
Tony Habra, Rudyard
Jerry Jennings, MASA
Michele Lemire, Escanaba
Vickie Markavitch, Oakland
Steve Matthews, Novi
Mike Paskewicz, Northview

MASA members: If you have a blog that you would like us to link please contact jharder@gomasa.org

Advanced Copy of May Superintendent Letter in Northview News

Written by Mike Paskewicz on Apr 18, 2014
Northview News May 2014 Dear Families, Community Members, Students, and Staff, We are just a few short weeks from the end of the 2013/14 school year and high school graduation ceremonies.  Over the past four years 85% of our graduates were admitted to post-secondary education.  Five percent (5%) selected full-time or part-time employment.  Five percent (5%) selected a technical institution to continue their learning.  Four percent (4%) elected to serve our country as a member of the Armed Forces.  I am confident the members of the 2014 graduating class are prepared to move on to life’s next step.  They have been successful in their academic achievement and their commitment to strengthening the culture and climate of the Northview Public Schools. Our schools cannot do it alone (Vollmer, 2010). Students in the Northview Public Schools are successful because they are supported by a strong emotional and spiritual relationship between families, staff, and community members.  We believe that people working together can accomplish anything. Do you know where your Michigan legislators are regarding support for K-12 public education?  I encourage you to ask them the following questions. ·         What legislative actions have you taken to provide adequate funding for Northview students? ·         As a legislator, do you support a “real 3% increase to the net-operating revenue” in the Base Foundation Allowance? ·         Will you join us in our commitment to accelerating student academic growth and nurturing student social development in Northview? ·         How will you demonstrate your commitment? Our local elected officials, Senator Jansen and Representatives MacGregor and VerHeulen, have been willing to listen to our concerns.  They have been willing to recognize and state the successes and challenges in our school district.  They are part of the State Legislature that will make the decisions on the Base Foundation Allowance.  They are part of the elected officials that will make decisions on legislation that helps or hinders local public schools.  I encourage you to listen to what our legislators are saying and try to determine the source of the information that influences their decision-making regarding policies that impact Northview.  They are making important decisions over the next few weeks that may not impact the 2014 graduating class.  However, they are making decisions that will affect every student in Northview for the remaining years of their public school education.   Senator Mark Jansen                          senmjansen@senate.michigan.gov Representative Peter MacGregor      petermacgregor@house.mi.gov Representative Rob VerHeulen        robverheulen@house.mi.gov Visit our web site to find your elected official by zip code/address  www.nvps.net …… and, please remember to vote on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 on the ballot proposal asking for residents to consider a Building and Site Millage Renewal – NO TAX RATE INCREASE.  Renewal of these building and site funds allows us to keep our facilities safe and in good repair without taking from the limited dollars we have available to fund our classroom learning activities and   co-curricular programs.  More details, including frequently asked questions and completed projects, are available at nvps.net. If you have questions, please contact me at 616-365-6151 or mpaskewicz@nvps.net. Sincerely and With Great Respect,     Mike

Monitoring your every move

Written by Steve Matthews on Apr 17, 2014
UPS has begun monitoring a driver's every move. It is done, the company says, to increase productivity.

UPS monitors when the truck doors open and close, when the seat belt is fasten or unfastened, when the truck is started.

Data, some say, is king!

More data has led to increased productivity. Increased productivity saves money and increases profits.

And, not surprisingly, the company has the reserach to back it up. Deliveries per driver have increased. Pay has gone up as well.

There is a downside. Drivers complain of "big brother."

But, I am sure, drivers' enjoy their larger paychecks.

Can schools adopt and adapt the same process to educating students?

Can schools measure their productivity?

Schools can, and probably have, began to measure how long it takes to learn the alphabet, how to read, know math facts, learn economic principles. Schools can measure how long lunch lines are, if bus stops are too far apart, and how often the lights are left on in a classroom that is empty. The list of targets to measure in schools is endless.

Clearly it is not a question of can schools measure productivity. Perhaps the question is should schools measure productivity?

Some things in schools clearly should be measured. Bus stops wait times, how much electricity is wasted.

But can and should we apply productivity principles to classrooms?

Thursdays With North Oakview - Daffodils Are Blooming

Written by Mike Paskewicz on Apr 17, 2014
April 17, 2014Arrival Time:   7:20 a.m.There are several sure signs that Spring has actually arrived.  The first sign is the daffodils blooming in front of North Oakview.  The second sign is a large increase in the number of gloves, mittens, stocking hats, and winter coats that are deposited in the Lost and Found collection. The third sign is usually one third grade student who caught the softball/baseball with their eye instead of the mitt. THERE ARE DAFFODILS BLOOMING IN FRONT OF NORTH OAKVIEW!THE LOST AND FOUND IS PACKED WITH WINTER CLOTHING (parents, you might want to take a look).I SAW ONE BRUISED EYE TODAY.....but it was on a kindergarten boy who was pushed down by a friend when they were playing outside during spring break last week. I missed the drop-off line today as I had a short meeting with staff members.  I always enjoy being with our teachers as I find them to be professional and passionate.  I appreciated the good questions and comments during our time together.  After five (5) years in Northview, my hope is that our staff, students, and families understand they have open access to the Superintendent and have come to expect that I welcome conversations, discussions, and dialog with individuals and groups.  As I passed a class of fourth grade students in the hall this morning they informed me they were going to Highlands for a transition visit.  When I asked them what that meant most said "it means we are almost fifth graders."  A couple of kids insisted it was a "chance to get 'Duba-mints.'" During my time in a third grade classroom two student questions surprised me.  Question one challenged me - "so, when the pool is done are we going to have a USA swim team for young kids?"  I was impressed that he even knew we were building a pool.  Must be his family is talking about how best to use the new pool.  I told him I didn't know ...... yet. The second question was designed to see if I had followed up about talking to the high school athletic director about plans to form a gymnastics team for girls.  The boy sitting next to her said "if you have a girls team then you have to have a boys team - I think there is a law about that, right?"  Talking to 3rd grade students about the Federal Title IX law is really quite amazing for me.  When I was in 3rd grade, I was the kid with the bruised eye (always caught the second throw with my mitt) and the only law that I was concerned with was my dad's law of being home before the street lights came on... or else.  Our students are much smarter and more well informed today.  I attempted to get a little life-coaching from Travis today.  By the time I arrived in his room he was already deeply engaged with a warm-up activity on the I-pad.  He didn't have much time for me but he did finally give me the fourth sure sign that spring is here. MOM SAYS WE DON'T HAVE TO WEAR THE WINTER BOOTS ANY MORE, WE CAN WEAR OUR RED TENNIS SHOES.Funny, I was just talking with one of the staff in the district office and I remarked that I wasn't going to wear my red tennis shoes to a dinner meeting tonight, honoring Legislators and Board of Education members from across Kent County.  My life-coach hasn't been wrong yet this year.  It is Thursday. Mom said we don't need to wear our winter boots any more.I wonder how many folks at the evening dinner will ask me about my red tennis shoes. Sincerely and With Great Respect,Mike

Fact Sheet for Renewal of Bulding and Site Millage - NO TAX RATE INCREASE

Written by Mike Paskewicz on Apr 16, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014Good Evening,As you may be aware, a NO TAX RATE INCREASE RENEWAL of the building and site millage for a period of ten years is on the May 6, 2014 ballot.  This money may not be used for salaries, operating expenses or equipment.  If this fund was not present, we would need to divert operating revenue from classroom and co-curricular programs to facilities repair and safety upgrades. Attached and pasted below is a "fact sheet" regarding the request.I am asking you to share this information with those in your email address book, on your social media pages, and across the back fence in your neighborhood. Sincerely,Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent Vote on May 6, 2014 - Building and Site Millage Renewal No Tax Rate Increase Renewal for 10 Years – No Tax Rate Increase ·         Brings $667,000 per year in revenue with no tax rate increase. ·         Millage rate is 1.2056 mills. ·         Northview families with a home at a taxable value of $100,000 currently pay $120.56 per year or $2.32 per week.  Timely Repair ·         Renewal of the millage rate provides funds for the timely repair of our buildings and sites. ·         As with our homes, timely repairs are more cost effective than paying for extensive repairs. ·         We must address the health/life safety repair needs in the buildings in order to have safe learning environments for students.  If the Building and Site Millage revenue is not available, funds currently aligned to support classroom instruction and co-curricular programs, must be used to make necessary repairs.  As you are aware our “net-operational revenue” has been reduced by the State over the past three years.  Use of Building and Site Funds ·         By law, Building and Site funds can only be used for repair, renovation, and/or site acquisition. ·         This money may not be used for operating expenses in classrooms or salary increases for staff. Building and Site Millage Renewal Projects – No Tax Rate Increase ·         The community approved the current Building and Site Millage in 2005.  Ninety-four (94) projects were completed between 2005 and 2010, improving all schools. ·         The community approved a renewal of the current Building and Site Millage in 2010.  Seventy-nine (79) projects were completed between 2010 and today. ·         Examples of projects include (a complete list of all 173 projects may be found at www.nvps.net): o    Wiring for security cameras at schools. o    Roof replacements. o    Fire suppression upgrades. o    Parking lot resurfacing. o    Stadium turf. o    Painting classrooms and halls. o    Landscaping. o    Sidewalk replacement. o    Boiler replacement. o    Screen and finish gym floors every three years. o    Highlands soccer fields. o    Carpet replacement. o    School kitchens remodeled. o    Electrical work. o    Fiber Optic line installation. Tentative Projects for 2014/15 – No Tax Rate Increase ·         Parking lot improvements                               All schools ·         Roof repair/replacement                                 North Oakview/Crossroads ·         Plumbing replacement                                    North Oakview ·         Playground black top                                      East Oakview ·         Fiber-Optic cabling between schools             Highlands to High School o   Required for all schools within 5 – 7 years ·         Service drive repaving                                    District campus ·         Parking lot repaving                                        Highlands ·         Landscaping improvements                           All schools ·         Wiring for security cameras                           All schools ·         Renovate school entrances for security         All schools (except high school)

Ed Tech for Young Children

Written by Scot Graden on Apr 16, 2014

We have talking a lot about our “Next Gen” classrooms this year and specifically our Kindergarten and 1st Grade rooms.  When reading a recent article in eSchool News titled, “10 things to ask when choosing ed tech for young children” I was reminded how important it is to be thoughtful in the approach to providing technology at this level.  Throwing tech at students without being intentional about what are some of the desired outcomes is never a good idea, but I feel it’s even worse when it comes to young students.

Here is a quote from Karen Nemeth, co-founder of the Early Childhood Technology Network

“Don’t fall for iPad or ‘app mania’! Technology is not always the best choice,” said Nemeth. “Apps designed for kids aren’t always better than what you may already have, and that goes for mobile devices too! Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s better!”


After reading this and reflecting on our approach with Next Gen this year, I am reminded how thoughtful and intentional our technology, instructional and administrative staff have been with implementation.